Tongue and lip ties–and whether and how to treat them–is a hotly debated topic in the world of lactation. Treating for tongue ties, lip ties, and related issues that may cause breastfeeding challenges takes an interdisciplinary approach. If a tongue or lip tie is suspected, a family’s first recourse should be to see an IBCLC for her assessment of the breastfeeding situation, particularly for an assessment of baby’s oral structures and of whether or not breastfeeding is comfortable and effective. Proper assessment using a validated assessment tool (HATLFF) is they key to properly identifying and treating tongue ties. If necessary, the IBCLC will refer to a revision provider and will recommend complementary approaches to maximize baby’s ability to nurse effectively and in a way that is comfortable for mom. We also recommend continuing care with the IBCLC after a revision, as the revision is only an initial step in helping baby develop the oral function needed for optimal breastfeeding ability.
The resources below explore the multidimensional approach to caring for a family as they navigate the problems associated with tongue and lip ties. I have compiled these resources as an evidence- and practice-based approach, explaining what my complementary practitioners and I find to bring the best outcomes in our practice.
Why All the Ties: A Discussion of the Identification and Treatment of Tongue and Lip Tie in the Breastfeeding Dyad. – Online learning for providers: